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did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

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did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby myles1260 » Wed 08.27.2008 12:36 am

can anyone who thinks they have learned japanese in a very short amount of time reply and say how long it took them? also, can you please give tips/advice or maybe an explanation of how you did it? when i say 'learned japanese' there can be many interpretations of that, but basically, i just mean being able to make yourself understood considerably well in everyday conversations as well as being able to read maybe at a high school level (because i'm starting high school next week). this would be really helpful, especially the part about how you did it, because i am trying to find any ways i can learn as quickly as possible. thanks.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 08.27.2008 12:41 am

Took me 15 years, including 6 years of immersion, and I'm probably only recently at a high school level (if that).

Japanese is not something you're going to learn in a short time, sorry.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby chikara » Wed 08.27.2008 12:58 am

No.

On the other hand learning to type correctly took me no time at all :)
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby Oracle » Wed 08.27.2008 4:49 am

Nope - 24 years so far ( school, major at university, more than a few years living there, and frequent work trips back to Japan these days ) and yet everytime I pick up a magazine or watch TV there is ALWAYS at least one new word or phrase that I don't know..

as they say: it's a journey, not a destination.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby richvh » Wed 08.27.2008 7:20 am

There is no royal road to language learning.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 08.27.2008 7:35 am

10 years of studying for me, and I'm not sure I would say I read at a high school level. It all depends on what I'm reading -- I can probably read a Genji essay better than a high school student but if it's a manga they probably have a better handle on the slang and everyday speech than I do. There are still times when I read some panels of manga and I just can't follow what the people are saying. My speech is still problematic in a lot of areas.

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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby becki_kanou » Wed 08.27.2008 9:19 am

12 years of study for me (so far). Conversation presents no problems, I can read novels and comics just fine,and I've written short essays for local newsletters etc, and but I've slacked off much more than I should on kanji, so a typical high school student would definitely out-do me on newspapers and technical writing.

I could converse passably after about 2 years and more or less fluently after about 5 or 6, but as someone else said I still learn new words every day. And again to paraphrase what others have said; There is no magic bullet. Just buckle down and study. Go to Japan with an exchange program if you can, or find Japanese speakers in your area.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby two_heads_talking » Wed 08.27.2008 9:31 am

My experience was a bit different than everyone elses. I spent 2 months in a Language training center(by our church for missionaries) learning basic conversation, hiragana and katakana. AFter that 2 months, we were flown to the respective missionary home office. (mine was in Sendai). At that point, we were assigned a senior companion (a missionary that had been in country a bit longer than us.. lol). From there it was complete immersion where we learned as we went.

At 6 months I was able to hold fairly decent basic conversations, at 12 months I could discuss and explain things basically. By the 2 year mark, when our missions were up, I could converse pretty well. I even had a fairly good grasp of keigo and it's many applications. Of course I couldn't have in depth conversations about things like physics or engineering, but I was able to have in depth conversations about the gospel. I also think that over the last 15 or so years of little to no usage, by language ability has grown a bit stagnant.

Of course I will be the first to say, that I wasn't able to do any of that on my own. I know I had alot of help. That help coming from the Training center, companions, other members of the church living in Japan, and other help from on high.. Also in that time, kanji study wasn't high on the list of priorities, so my reading comprehension has suffered because of it.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby Mike Cash » Wed 08.27.2008 9:48 am

What's the premise behind the question? That if it can't be done in a short time you're going to say "screw it" and go on to something different?
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby myles1260 » Wed 08.27.2008 10:03 am

thanks for your informative replies everyone. i now see that there is no shortcut and i simply have to achieve my goal by hard work and nothing else. however, i feel it will take a particularly long time for me, because i am starting high school next week, and my school is very good, actually excellent, but it does not offer japanese. that means i have to learn on my own for now, which might actually be good if i learn correctly because sometimes i like to believe that with my intellectual level, i am better off learning on my own rather than in a class. i guess i just have to self-teach until i can get my mom to agree to take me to some sort of class/japanese school, or until i just learn on my own.

as for you, Mike Cash, the 'premise behind the question' is nowhere near that which you assumed. i am not a quitter and i never will be when it comes to something important. you can even call me stubborn in that sense. i have the utmost confidence in my intelligence, intellectual ability, and my independence. i like challenges, so there's no way i'll give up. however, i asked the question because it's only natural that if you are trying to accomplish a task, you will seek out the quickest and best way to do so.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby richvh » Wed 08.27.2008 10:11 am

Here's a challenge for you: find and use the shift key. You seem to be able to use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation, going that extra little step to using proper capitalization will make you look that much more mature.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby myles1260 » Wed 08.27.2008 10:17 am

I have been made conscious of that before, and I know it's faster not to, but since you put it in challenge form, I will accept your challenge. Actually, I already have. =p That's my stubbornness right there, and I know you didn't mean it at all like how I'm about to say, but when people challenge me, I take it as an insult, so I improve myself.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby hyperconjugated » Wed 08.27.2008 10:19 am

Try introductory japanese class if possible to see if you even like the language before worrying about quick route to fluency.
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby Mike Cash » Wed 08.27.2008 10:25 am

myles1260 wrote:as for you, Mike Cash, the 'premise behind the question' is nowhere near that which you assumed. i am not a quitter and i never will be when it comes to something important. you can even call me stubborn in that sense. i have the utmost confidence in my intelligence, intellectual ability, and my independence. i like challenges, so there's no way i'll give up. however, i asked the question because it's only natural that if you are trying to accomplish a task, you will seek out the quickest and best way to do so.


Makes sense, and a strong stubborn streak will be one of your best friends if you want to learn Japanese.

What is there about this particular task that is important?
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Re: did you learn japanese in a very short amount of time?

Postby AJBryant » Wed 08.27.2008 12:24 pm

chikara wrote:No.

On the other hand learning to type correctly took me no time at all :)


You are my hero. :)

Yudan Taiteki wrote:10 years of studying for me, and I'm not sure I would say I read at a high school level. It all depends on what I'm reading -- I can probably read a Genji essay better than a high school student but if it's a manga they probably have a better handle on the slang and everyday speech than I do. There are still times when I read some panels of manga and I just can't follow what the people are saying. My speech is still problematic in a lot of areas.

There's no quick way to success, sadly.


I can relate to this one. It weirds me out that some things are no problem, and other things that *should* be more simple drive me bats. I think the fact that I've been away from Japan since 92 has really removed me from the day-to-day usage and I'm really NOT current with... well, current slang and popular usage. <whimper>

The fact that my keigo is really slipping is driving me crazy.
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